Kerrigan remained determined to crush the UED forces and their enslaved Overmind. To that end, she traveled to the planet Shakuras and kidnapped the dark templar matriarch, Raszagal.
Using Raszagal as leverage, Kerrigan laid out her demands. Because only Zeratul and his people could destroy the Overmind and its cerebrates, Kerrigan made them an offer: if the dark templar killed these renegade zerg, Kerrigan would permit Raszagal to return to Shakuras.
Despite Zeratul’s reservations, Raszagal convinced him that, for the sake of all protoss, he must do as Kerrigan demanded. In the end, Zeratul obeyed. The dark templar assaulted the UED forces on Char and managed to slay the Overmind along with its cerebrates. As a result, all zerg in the Koprulu sector became subject to Kerrigan’s will once more.
When the mission was completed, Kerrigan asked Raszagal if she wanted to return to her people, but the matriarch said that her only wish was to serve Kerrigan. In that moment, Zeratul realized that Kerrigan had long ago enslaved and corrupted Raszagal’s mind.
After their defeat, the remains of the Directorate fleet had fled from the planet Char. Zeratul and the other dark templar circumvented Kerrigan’s defenses and rescued their matriarch. They had yet to realize that Raszagal’s mental enslavement could not be undone.
Before the dark templar could escape with Raszagal, the zerg surrounded Zeratul’s base and attacked. As Kerrigan and her minions closed in, Zeratul cursed Kerrigan bitterly and, rather than let the zerg recapture Raszagal, dealt the matriarch a mortal blow. In her last moments, she thanked him for freeing her from Kerrigan’s influence.
Ravaged by grief and guilt, Zeratul vowed he would avenge the matriarch’s fall.
Upon leaving Char, Zeratul and the dark templar investigated protoss power signatures on an uncharted moon nearby. There they found several stasis cells containing protoss and zerg. Further investigation revealed that Samir Duran was using genetic manipulation in an unholy attempt to create the hybrid: creatures with mixed zerg and protoss DNA.
Most disturbing of all, however, was the fact that Duran’s attempts were proving successful.
Unmoved by Zeratul’s disgust, Duran revealed that he served a power far greater than Kerrigan and that the creation of the hybrid was the last step in a vast cycle that was approaching its end. Duran claimed that the hybrid, who were scattered on a thousand different worlds, were on the verge of completing their development, and they would change the universe forever when they awoke.
For a brief time thereafter, Kerrigan was sorely challenged. Duran had inconveniently disappeared; the orbital platform from which she watched over Char was under attack; and most of her forces were still on the planet surface. Arcturus Mengsk had scraped together a new fleet, and a gleaming armada of protoss ships from Shakuras had warped in as well. Last but not least, Directorate forces were stubbornly intent upon defeating the woman who had manipulated and humiliated them.
Yet the Queen of Blades proved to be too powerful a foe as she unleashed her full wrath upon her enemies. Facing imminent defeat, Mengsk withdrew early in the battle. He told Kerrigan to watch her back because he would be lying in wait for her, ready to strike when she inevitably made a mistake.
Nor did the forces composed of Aiur protoss and dark templar retreat without a parting word, declaring that they would never forget the death of Raszagal. They too would be watching Kerrigan.
At last it became clear that the UED fleet could not hope to overcome Kerrigan at her full strength. For her amusement, Kerrigan allowed the fleet to flee in the direction of Earth, giving it a reasonable head start before she sent the Swarm after them.
Kerrigan’s forces soon overtook the UED fleet and tore it apart. Not one of the fleet’s ships would reach Earth to report the events that had taken place in the Koprulu sector.